United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for enhanced climate financing to address what he termed the “world’s utmost priority”.
He said to achieve a “full-scale transition to clean energy, we must see billions of dollars invested by 2020”.
Speaking at the Austrian World Summit in Vienna, he asked governments, industry, and the financial sector to meet “the challenge of climate change through innovation, urgent action, and substantial investment”.
“Investments in clean, green infrastructure need to be scaled up globally,” he added.
“For that, we need leadership from the finance and investment community and by local, regional and national governments who will decide on major infrastructure plans over the coming years.”
The UN Chief’s call comes as an extra week of negotiations has been scheduled for September in Bangkok to address the unresolved issue of finance to aid developing countries cut emissions after two weeks of climate talks in Bonn, Germany, earlier this month.
Developed countries including the United States (US) and those within the European Union in 2009 promised a US$100 million package by 2020 to reduce the threat of climate change through the use of new technology.
That commitment had reached US$62 billion by 2014, and developing nations are demanding more details on what money is coming under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
African and other developing nations are being asked to produce verifiable information on the emissions they produce but they argue that this would involve an expensive bureaucracy.
There is also the added anxiety of the rich nations using this information to restrict trade ties.
Countries agreed to limit global average temperature rise to two degrees Celsius and work toward a safer 1.5 degree goal and this would need the support of public and private sectors, as well as individuals.
African countries are among developing nations pushing for the US$100 million climate package to materialise.
At the first Africa Climate Week held in Nairobi, the countries were unanimous in their position that action on climate change and sustainable development together was the way forward for Africa
Al Hamdou Dorsouma, Manager for the Climate and Green Growth Division at the African Development Bank (AfDB), said the bank “believes that nationally determined contributions are an opportunity for African countries to put sustainability at the centre of their long-term development”.
He added that the dialogue at the “Africa Climate Week demonstrated the ambition and determination by both state and non-state actors, as well as development partners, to push for expanding green and resilient investments, which would enable Africa to leapfrog to high impact and clean technologies in productive sectors”.
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